Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Can SIP Solve Your Business Requirements For Video Conferencing And Multi-Media?

Something few mention as an option to meet video conferencing and multi-media needs, which I find quite odd, is SIP!!!

SIP is the standard protocol designed for the transmission of video, voice, and data. Many have strong opiniuons that SIP will become the standard for all media transmission including data.

To address incorporating SIP as a component of your video conferencing suite and multi-media solution ... there's a few considerations.

First, you need to know how much bandwidth you need for the overall infrastructure. If you need anything more than the amount of bandwidth provided by a couple T1's, then look at Metro Etherent. Whether it's MetroE or T1, you're probably looking at an MPLS solution from any carrier. By adding SIP to an MPLS T1 for example, you'll have direct connectivity to the PSTN and ISP for both voice and data.

This is really the newest and most advanced way to transmit voice, data, and video over a single pipe. It's no longer necessary to have separate circuits for voice and data .... although some carriers will discourage this saying it's unreliable. But they're just trying to get you to buy twice as many services as necessary. The only way to approach redundancy for data is to have a redundant circuit from a different carrier.

Here's an interesting case study for you all.

A friend's company builds VoIP systems that allow SIP end-to-end. He had a customer who has two locations. The customer had 2 voice T1's and 2 data T1's at each location .... in addition to a point-to-point for their WAN. In the process of creating a new VoIP solution, my friend eliminated all of the customer's T1's and point-to-point .... and replaced them with a single MetroE MPLS/SIP product at each location.

This single circuit allowed for connectivity to the PSTN (phone company), the Internet (ISP), and because the service was from the same carrier, all inter-office calls, application hosting, and all the other things flowing over the customer's WAN would run over the carrier's IP backbone.

Although there was no point-to-point, this was still a dedicated connection from point A to B. This customer's bandwidth dramatically increased and they saved LOTS of money. Imagine consolidating down from 6 circuits to 2! It is important to note that they did maintain their backup provider.

Long story short, whether it's video, voice, or multi-media ..... your best bet is SIP regardless of its delivery method (MetroE, T1, DS3, etc). The only problem is that SIP is so new, many carriers are still in the process of engineering their network for IP and SIP.

Don't be discouraged though. Simply stick to your guns and ask that SIP be considered in your solution package by whatever provider you're working with. Make sure they prove to your satisfaction that SIP isn't a good fit in the equation .... should they be lukewarm to the idea.

For help in finding just the right solution that DOES integrate SIP ..... I suggest using this free consulting service: Sip Trunking

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